Feed our children - Take GST off fruit and vegetables
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It's time to take a stand and do something about the cost of food before we can no longer choose what we eat.
A recent New Zealand Herald article (September 19, 2017) by Kirsty Johnston has exemplified what educators in New Zealand have known for years. Child malnutrition is on the rise, and more and more New Zealand children are being hospitalised for nutrient deficiency.
The article accurately portrays the rise in food costs while income levels stay stagnant in the lowest income families. It is these families, and the vulnerable children, that suffer the most with malnutrition due to the increasing food prices.
Nutrition however is not only increasing hospitalization, but is also impacting education. For every child that is hospitalized because of malnutrition there is many more struggling with the effects of malnutrition in our classrooms. From Early childhood Education through primary to high school, the food our children eat is long known to a have a lasting impact on educational achievement.
Teachers are feeling the burden of this increasing trend with many using their own money to purchase food and snacks for children. In addition to this the behavioural implications are immense. Children who are hungry cannot concentrate, and they cannot pay attention to the teacher even if they want to. Physiologically their bodies and brains are not able to because their vital organs are using up all their energy for survival - not learning. This means unfocused, fidgety, sleepy behaviour and couple that with the sugar filled cheap food they can access = a recipe for disaster.
Sign the petition today to show the Government we will no longer stand for a fundamental living resource such as fruit and vegetables to be out of reach for the average New Zealander.
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